Episode 38 – Gudrun Johnston

Gudrun Johnston, Patron of the Shetland Wool Week 2017, is our interview guest in the Fruity Knitting Podcast Episode 38. Although now based in the US, Gudrun’s heritage is in Shetland, and she maintains close ties and shares the islands culture with others via her fiber tours. Our guest on Knitters of the World is Natasja Hornby from Amsterdam. Natasja has a background in design and a strong sense of style. We continue our Brioche theme in New Releases, with Dandelion Fields by Lesley Anne Robinson. Madeleine is heading to Oz, we get a taste of Swedish Two End knitting, and lots more.

Fruity Knitting Podcast Episode 38, with Gudrun Johnston

Fruity Knitting Podcast Episode 38, with Gudrun Johnston

Gudrun Johnston Interview

Gudrun Johnston was born in Shetland, her mother Patricia Johnston was a very influential knitwear designer in Shetland in the 70s and although Gudrun is based in the U.S. her beautiful designs very much reflect her Shetland heritage.

Gudrun has published two gorgeous collections of knitwear in her Shetland Trader series, she has also been published in several prominent magazines and most recently Brooklyn Tweed have announced that she will be part of their design team.

Voe, by Gudrun Johnston, from the Brooklyn Tweed Fall 2017 Collection, Copyright 2017 Brooklyn Tweed

Voe, by Gudrun Johnston, from the Brooklyn Tweed Fall 2017 Collection, Copyright 2017 Brooklyn Tweed

Apart from designing amazing knitwear, Gudrun also has a strong connection to the knitting community as a well-respected teacher and through her fiber related tours of the Shetland Islands that she organises. Gudrun is the Patron of the Shetland Wool Week for 2017. During the interview she talks about her role as patron and the inspiration behind her Bousta Beanie  – the official (free pattern) hat for the Shetland Wool Week.

Gudrun’s mother called her knitwear business in the 70s ‘The Shetland Trader’ and Gudrun is proud to continue on with the same name on her Blog.

Shetland Trader, old and new

Shetland Trader, old and new

Gudrun is currently working on a collection of designs that are inspired by some of her mother Patricia Johnston’s knitwear designs from the 70s. Here she is with two or her mothers original garments. Such amazing colours!

Original Shetland Trader from Wendy Inkster of Burra Bears

Original Shetland Trader from Wendy Inkster of Burra Bears

Finding Gudrun Johnston

Dandelion Fields by Lesley Anne Robinson – Knit Graffiti Designs

You only need two skeins of fingering weight yarn for this lovely half circle brioche shawl. Lesley says she was inspired by rows of dandelions in a field, going from buds, to blossoms and finally releasing their seeds into the wild. A very creative use of the Brioche Knit, Purl, increase and decrease stitches and very doable for the intermediate Brioche knitter!

Dandelion Fields, by Lesley Anne Robinson

Dandelion Fields, by Lesley Anne Robinson

Patron Discount

Patrons can get 10% off the Dandelion Fields pattern at Ravelry and 10% off the recommended Sensible Sock yarn at PeepalooFields on Etsy. Go to patreon.com/fruityknitting for details.

Finding Lesley Anne Robinson and Dandelion Fields

Natasja Hornby – Knitters of the World

Natasja formally studied design and has taught textiles and art but after changing her career to be a forensic youth psychologist and working in an atmosphere of fear and distress, she came back to knitting for comfort and relaxation. With a passion for ‘matchy matchy’, she has designed “his and hers” jumpers, and matching hats and garments.

Natasja Hornby - His and Hers

Natasja Hornby – His and Hers

She’s a very stylist woman! We also get to see a bit of the inner city cafe scene in Amsterdam on a lovely summer morning.

Juno, by Natasja Hornby

Juno, by Natasja Hornby

Finding Natasja Hornby

Daffodil by Marie Wallin

Andrea has finally finisher her Daffodil from Marie Wallin’s book Springtime.  The yarn used is British Hampshire 4 ply from The Little Grey Sheep  in the colourway ‘Dancing with Olive’. The intricate all over pattern is a combination of simple cable braids, panels of a lacey leaf pattern and panels of a twisted stitch pattern.

 

Marie Wallin - Daffodil

Marie Wallin – Daffodil

Under Construction

Madeleine’s Socks

Madeleine is knitting her first pair of socks as a Christmas present for her Oma (Grandma). She is doing a 2×2 rib on the leg and the top of the foot to keep it a snug fit and a traditional heel flap and gusset. The yarn used is the Blacker Yarns sock yarn Mohair Blend 4-ply

Blacker Yarns Mohair Blends - Mohair and Hebridean

Blacker Yarns Mohair Blends – Mohair and Hebridean

Blacker Yarns Mohair Blends is blended with either Hebridean or Manx Loaghtan - shown here

Blacker Yarns Mohair Blends is blended with either Hebridean or Manx Loaghtan – shown here

Paris’s Brioche Scarf by Nancy Marchant

Nancy Marchant was our interview guest in Episode 35.

Is this a collaboration or a hijacking?

Is this a collaboration or a hijacking? Using Blacker Yarns special limited edition birthday yarn – Brushwork

Twined Knitting (Two End Knitting)

Twined knitting dates back to the 1500s and originated in the rural areas of Sweden where it is still used today.

Twined knitting creates a very dense fabric which has a structure that traps heat and is wind proof as well as being extremely hard wearing. It is normally used on hats, gloves and mittens, socks, sleeves and leggings. Normally it’s important to use the traditional yarn which is S spun and Z plied and made into a centre pull ball. You then work with both ends of the same ball of yarn and alternate the yarns with every stitch as well as twisting the yarns around each other every time you change yarns. This makes the strands cover all the openings in the fabric and it gives it a double thickness.

Two End or Twined Knitting - showing how the yarns are twisted after each stitch

Two End or Twined Knitting – showing how the yarns are twisted after each stitch

Andrea is experimenting with two left over balls of yarn in different colors so you can better see the stitch pattern that is created on the inside. She needs to learn the basics of this technique before her ‘Advanced Two End Knitting Class’ during the up coming Shetland Wool Week. Has she got it right?

Two End or Twined Knitting - here using two alternate colors

Two End or Twined Knitting – here using two alternate colors

We were wearing

Andrew was wearing the Guido design by Carlo Volpi.

Guido by Carlo Volpi

Guido by Carlo Volpi

And Madeleine was wearing the Amelia by Alex Pengelly.

Amelia, by Alex Pengelly

Amelia, by Alex Pengelly

Music Credits

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